Top 8 Considerations When Evaluating a Used Vehicle

Getting a new car can be exciting.  When your new vehicle has a previous owner, you want to ensure that the excitement lasts long after you drive off the lot or leave the previous owner.  Here are some things to look for when purchasing a used car to ensure that you enjoy the drive for a long time to come.


Know What You Want Before Heading to the Lot

The Internet has made it easy to do your homework. Rather than going to the car dealership and browsing, research what you are looking for in a great brand online. With this idea in mind, you’re then ready to head to the dealership informed with data that will allow you to ask the best questions to get exactly what you want in added features for the vehicle you have in mind.


Budget For Your Lifestyle

While your main focus is on the vehicle itself, your budget should also include considerations towards any additional expenses such as gas. The vehicle’s efficiency in gas over your current model is important, but this can also be traded off for other factors like cargo room such as with trucks. You can even consider going with fully electric or hybrid cars for maximum efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions.

Factor in the type of regular driving you will be doing into your budget and make sure you express those needs to line up the best functional fit. Considerations like, “regular freeway driving vs. local in-town driving” can make all the difference in the world on the choice you go with.

It’s important to think and ask about these items when working with your local dealership to find a suitable fit for your lifestyle and needs.


Keep an Eye Out For Exclusive Promotions

If you aren’t going to pay for the car outright, you will want to consider all financing options with your bank and your dealership.  Keep an eye out for exclusive offers that your local dealership may offer. These can come in the form of limited time discounts, trade-in exclusives, deals, or promotions for specific vehicle models that may be worth asking about.


Know The Vehicle’s History

Since you won’t be the first owner of your new car, you’ll want to know what the previous history. Knowing how many kilometres it has travelled or past work or new tune ups that have occurred can be helpful. In addition, you can also find out about any previous claims on the vehicle. 

Going after dealership certified pre-owned vehicles is an ideal approach that guarantees quality and warranty support.


Do a Complete Walk Around

Before you test drive the vehicle, do a complete walk around to ensure it’s a good fit for you. Sit in it and check out the features it offers, or ask about features that can be installed.

Things to ask yourself and look for include:

  • Does it have all the connectors you need for phone chargers?
  • Does it support the methods of audio you want? Bluetooth, Audio Aux port, USB?
  • Heated seats? Can never go wrong with staying warm.
  • Powered or manual windows and mirrors?
  • Air Conditioning

Operate things such as the headlight, brake lights, windshield wipers, turn signals, and other functions when doing your driving test.  Check the radio buttons, seat adjustments, and other items inside the car to confirm that everything is to your liking.


Take it on a Road Test

Taking a test drive will allow you to get a feel for what it will be like once you take the vehicle home.  While being sure to remain safe, take the vehicle on the road and get a good feel for how it handles. Some people like a responsive ride, but the weight and class of the vehicle can make this experience differ a lot. It’s up to personal preference, but make sure you’re happy with it.

Ask about an opportunity to try it out on the freeway during your test, giving you some freedom to test out the vehicle at higher speeds while remaining compliant of local laws. See how it feels during shoulder checks and lane changes.


Comfortable Seating & Ergonomics

You’ll be spending a lot of time in the driver’s seat, so you’ll want to pay attention to whether or not it’s comfortable.  You don’t want to purchase the car of your dreams without giving it a good test.

Look at the layout of the radio and air conditioning controls.  Where are the vents for heating and cooling passengers?  Will passengers have enough legroom?  These can be crucial factors when you are out on a trip.


Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle

At the end of the day, certified vehicles come with additional warranties and quality assurances that extend beyond the initial coverage. For the best experience it is recommended you assess your options well with a local dealership with some of these insights and questions in mind.

Searching for a used car can be an exciting adventure. Ensuring the best fit for your needs starts with articulating those needs when conducting your search. These tips can help you to avoid catastrophe and ride away in the car of your dreams.